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GOP War on Trump; Clinton E-mail Controversy Not Going Away Any Time Soon; Republicans Battling for Top of Their Party; Romney Plan to Fight Trump Won't Make Dent With Voters; Biden Speaks at Black History Month Reception; Interview With Jesse Ventura; Bryan Pagliano Granted Immunity by FBI in Clinton E-mail Scandal; Clinton and Sanders to go Head to Head in CNN Debate. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired March 3, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: The GOP's war on Trump. Does that help the Democrats?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. Watch by the way, how he responds to my speech today.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He was begging for my endorsement. I could have said, Mitt, drop to your knees. He would have dropped to his knees.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
Let's face it, a lot of people may agrees with Mitt Romney but none of them were voting for Donald Trump. And Romney's proposed plan to fight Trump at the convention won't make a dent with voters who want to send an outsider to Washington.
Well, tonight, I'm going to talk to an outsider who ran and won. That's Jesse Ventura.
Plus, the Republicans battling for the soul of their party. What does all of this means for the Democrats? And could Hillary Clinton's e- mail woes still trip her up?
Lots of going on tonight. Lots to discuss. All this with us tonight, is Nina Turner, she is a former state Senator and a surrogate for Bernie Sanders, Bakari Sellers, is a former member of the South Carolina Statehouse, Amy Homes, the anchor of the Blaze TV, and CNN political contributor, Van Jones!
My dream team is here this evening, except for Bakari, but we'll include him anyway. So, Bakari, Romney is leading the charge to stop Trump and Trump is - Trump is fighting back. Watch this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.
TRUMP: He was begging for my endorsement. I could have said, Mitt, drop to your knees, he would have dropped to his knees. He was begging.
ROMNEY: He's not of the temperament of the kind of stable, thoughtful person we need as leader. His imagination must not be married to real power.
TRUMP: He failed horribly. The third defeat.
He failed badly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: I mean, it seems like they should be holding their powder and they are keeping their powder dryer and holding their fire for the Democrats, Bakari. The GOP establishment versus Donald Trump. It is open warfare. Does this help the Democrats in the race for the White House?
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it definitely does help the Democrats. But what I think we saw today was Mitt Romney and the rest of the establishment and the GOP totally misread what Donald Trump is and what he represents.
Early today I said and I bear to repeating Donald Trump is George Wallace on steroids. It's like George Wallace 2.0. And I think people forget or don't understand that populism matched with that anti- establishment rhetoric is driving people to the polls. But there were Democrats opposition research Democrats all across the country that were sitting there just clipping those points that Mitt Romney was making 30 seconds at a time. Because you'll hear those again in November.
LEMON: So, Van, was this Wallace before or after he denounced Jim Crowe?
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Probably before. Let me say a couple things, though. Everything does not come down to political strategy. If you believe and I believe Mitt Romney does, that this man would be bad for the Republican Party and also bad and dangerous for America, you have a moral responsibility to speak.
We can't get to the point where everything comes down to what's poll- tested and what's going to move this group or that group of voters. You do not want to be someone who two years or 10 years from now feels like you did not do all that you can do. I think you have to give some credit sometime to just say what you believe and let the chips fall where they may.
LEMON: Van, also the New York Times is reporting, let's talk about Hillary Clinton now that, Hillary Clinton's advisers worry that Trump could prove to be a threat in some key states. Now, should Democrats be worried about a Trump nomination now?
JONES: Absolutely. And I have said repeatedly; do not sleep on Donald Trump. And let me just complain a little bit about the liberal coastal elite in my party that keeps laughing at Donald Trump and saying this can't happen here. It can happen here.
Donald Trump has a case to make in the black rust belt, in Pennsylvania, Ohio, in Michigan, he can go there and talk about Hillary Clinton's husband signing NAFTA, he can go there and talk about a whole set of issues that have never really been brought to black voters and to Democratic voters for a long time from a Republican.
His anti-trade position and frankly, some of his xenophobia may play there. So, let's get off this liberal elite, high horse looking down the nose at everybody and laughing at Donald Trump. This thing is real and you have to take it seriously.
LEMON: OK. Welcome to the club, Van. I've been saying that since this summer.
JONES: I've been in the fall.
JONES: I said it in the fall.
LEMON: OK. So, Amy, you know we've had this discussion, I've told you about all of the fights that had with Democrats and I said don't underestimate your opponents. Why are you underestimating your opponent, why are you doing it? Should Democrats be nervous about Trump taking the nomination?
AMY HOLMES, THE BLAZE TV ANCHOR: Certainly. For many of the points that Van just made.
[22:04:59] In fact, Bernie Sanders agrees with Donald Trump when it comes to these trade agreements. Bernie Sanders is against them for the same reason as Donald Trump is, that it is suppressed wages and its lowered labor and productivity in the Unites States.
That's a major issue. And when the Democrats should keep their eye on because Donald Trump at least on the Republican side seems to own it. Also Donald Trump just came out today with the AP, with the exit polling data shows that he is pulling his support from a very broad and diverse base of people, ideology, education, income, age.
So, you know, this narrative as the left likes to say of Donald Trump only appealing to sort of working class white males simply isn't true if you look at the exit polling data. And, thirdly, the way that he's been able to drive enthusiasm and drive that voter turnout on the Republican side.
That is something that should make Democrats very worried and it does. Paul Begala himself has said that the enthusiasm gap does worry him for Hillary Clinton.
LEMON: You guys, I mean, Bakari and Van, you know I'm sitting here I'm going like, I told you all that. I told you all that. Nina -- Nina, you got to get in on this group because they will talk all over you. Well, how do you -- what do you think?
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: She's so shy. She's so shy.
NINA TURNER, FORMER OHIO STATE SENATOR: Well, thank you there. Listen, I certainly agree with what Van had to say. The Democratic Party, you know, as somebody who has run for office several times, there's only two ways to run, unopposed or run like hell. You never take your opponent, you know, you never take your opponent...
SELLERS: That is a fact.
TURNER: ... for granted. And you know, the Donald -- Mr. Trump rather is tapping into some very real concerns in this country. We might not wt to admit it. This is bigger than Mr. Trump. This is really about how millions of American are feeling.
If he was standing alone that would be one thing, but the fact had he has millions of people who are in his orbit right now who are willing to support him is another. I've been on this campaign trail, I've talked to Democrats who are very much in support of Senator Sanders. But if Senator Sanders is not the nominee who are pandering which Republican would they vote for and that is very real.
LEMON: But, Nina, let me ask you this. Let me ask you this, because Amy just said, well, it's not -- Amy, what did you say, white males, right? Or white conservative...
HOLMES: No, it's not.
HOLMES: He's not just attracting disaffected working class white males.
LEMON: OK. Nina, do you see that?
HOLMES: He has a broad base of support.
LEMON: Do you see that, do you see African-Americans who are possibly in support of Donald Trump if it comes down to a Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump? TURNER: Well, I have. I mean, certainly African-American community
again is not monolithic. So, the way that the media and elites are trying to paint Mr. Trump certainly that is not having an effect on his polling and how people are coming out to vote for him.
TURNER: So, I can definitely see that. And the point that I don't know if it was Van or Amy, but I think it was Amy, in terms of NAFTA and those type of trade agreements, there's only candidate on the Democratic side that's had a consistent record in terms of speaking out against those agreements. Because they have a negative impact on working class and people in this country particularly in States like Ohio, like Wisconsin, and like Michigan.
LEMON: Bakari. Go ahead. Finish your thought.
TURNER: No, I mean, but Senator Sanders has been very consistent on that.
TUNER: He hasn't -- he hasn't wavered in that.
HOLMES: So, when he first got to the Senate he doesn't have to...
LEMON: Bakari, it wasn't quite an eye roll that you gave, it was a little bit of a side eye when she said that. What was that about, Bakari?
SELLERS: No, I just -- I mean, I appreciate a lot of the respect that we're giving Donald Trump because he's earned it. But the fact to the matter is that the xenophobia, the racism that he's dabbling in, especially as my good friend, Van says, was playing footsie with the KKK.
It's actually going to drive out a lot of Democratic voters. I mean, it's going to drive out a lot of base voters. What we've seen in the -- what we've seen in the Democratic primary so far is whether or not it's Texas or whether or not it's the south, Hillary Clinton has done extremely well with these minority voters, and we'll get that test when we get to Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
SELLERS: But I believe that Donald Trump is actually going to...
TURNER: So, a lot of those -- but, Don, a lot of...
SELLERS: ... I believe -- I believe that a lot of...
LEMON: Go ahead, Nina. SELLERS: Go ahead. I'll pause. Go ahead.
TURNER: A lot of those southern states the Secretary -- excuse me, Bakari -- a lot of southern states though, the secretary is winning are states that Democrats do not traditionally win in the general.
South Carolina is one very good example of that is and so is Texas. I don't think this is about paying necessarily respect to Mr. Trump but it is a recognition that he is tapping into something and we can't sleep on him. That is really my...
LEMON: OK. Amy, I want to play something else that Mitt Romney said today. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: Given the current delegate selection process, that means I'd vote for Marco Rubio in Florida, for John Kasich in Ohio and for Ted Cruz or whichever one of the other two contenders has the best chance of beating Mr. Trump in a given state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, Amy, sources are telling CNN's Jamie Gangel that Mitt Romney is looking to stop Trump with a brokered convention with the idea that someone like Romney or Paul Ryan could come in as a white night. What do you think of that?
HOLMES: Well, Don, we talked about last night and I was saying that the new conventional wisdom in the stop Trump camp is that the best thing to do is to keep the candidates in, so that they can win delegates and deny Donald Trump the magic 1,237 that he would need in delegates to be able to clinch the Republican nomination.
[22:10:14] So, what you heard Mitt Romney saying is, Florida, give your delegates to Marco Rubio. Ohio, give your delegates to John Kasich. That denies Donald Trump those delegates, denies Donald Trump him coasting to the nomination, going to the Republican convention and having a brokered convention and having a fight.
So, we'll see if that strategy works. That's the big question mark. But that's what Mitt Romney was talking about.
JONES: But this is...
LEMON: But so far there's been more voter turnout in Republicans in there, I mean, it's double that of Democrats. Put that full screen. So, the establishment Republicans are expected to tackle the angry and disenfranchise voters who support Trump. So, how are they going to do that?
(CROSSTALK) JONES: It's a remarkable -- it's a remarkable thing. Because what you
have is in the Democratic Party, you have a rebellion led by Bernie Sanders. It looks like if you go with the polls are saying, the pundits are saying and no offense to Nina, it looks like the establishment may be able to hold out.
And then the question will be will the rebels stay or will the rebels leave. But on the Republican side it's the opposite. There is a rebellion and the rebel have won. Because you have a split rebellion, Ted Cruz leading the kind of Tea Party wing, Donald Trump leading what I call the circus anger wing and both a split rebellion is still bigger than the establishment.
JONES: So, what that means to me and what it says to me is that the effectiveness of the establishment trying to stop this rebellion at the convention is very, very questionable.
LEMON: All right. I got to take a break. Stick around everyone. When we come right back, the race card. Can Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders with black voters?
Plus, the outsider who made it all the way to the Governor's Mansion. Jesse Ventura is here. There he is.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Is race the issue that will decide the 2016 campaign? Let's discuss now. Nina Turner is back, Bakari Sellers, Amy Holmes, and Van Jones as well. Mr. Jones, to you first. Vice president Joe Biden spoke at a black history month reception on Super Tuesday. He had this to say about Donald Trump and other GOP candidates.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: I want to thank Donald Trump.
That's a joke. That's a joke for the press that's here. But guess what? Stuff he's doing and others, including Cruz and others, he's making the American people look in the mirror. And the American people are honest. When they look in the mirror, they see what's looking back at them. They know there's no easy answer to this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, Van, the vice president is sarcastically thanking Trump. But is there some truth there; is Trump in a way, in one way, advancing the conversation on race?
JONES: Well, I think that he is, but I think that be careful who you laugh at. Just because Democrats right now are able to convince, you know, African-Americans, southerners to come out for Hillary Clinton does not mean that Donald Trump cannot make a very tough case that the Democratic Party has let down African-Americans.
He can say and you hear it -- you hear it coming from him, you've been poor a long time and Democrats have kept you poor. I'm rich, let me help you get rich. Don't forget and I'll let it go to others, but don't forget for Democrats to win, they have to get not 60, not 70, not 80, but 90 plus percent of the black vote. Can Donald Trump get in to that and get George W. Bush's 11 percent from 2000 or 15 or 16 or 18? It is conceivable. So, I don't think the laughing is helping.
LEMON: Well, Amy, there have been independents and sort of centrist Republicans, who have said for a long time that maybe African- Americans should not be dedicating their votes so much to Democrats, but is it tougher in this environment, especially when you have the remarks of the KKK and so on from Donald Trump, for African-American to possibly even consider voting for a Republican?
HOLMES: Well, I think it's how deep they assess those sentiments to be for Donald Trump. I don't happen to think they are. We were talking about it last night. I don't think that Donald Trump is a racist. I think he's an equal opportunity offender and Bulgarian and yet, there are a lot of groups that can say they don't like what he's had to say, including people who, you know, have disabilities, when he mocked the New York Times reporter.
LEMON: But if he's a member of that party and he's saying that he's openly...
HOLMES: But -- right. Is that, so many members of the American public are willing to him slide on that kind of stuff that it sort of baked into the cake of the larger than life Donald Trump personality. And they are believing the promises.
The question, will the other groups of voters believe Donald Trump's promises? I think Van makes a very good case that they might. And remember, Donald Trump has been a known quantity in American pop culture for decades.
HOLMES: So, it not as if this is the first time we've discovered that he is brash and offensive. I think it is the part of -- it is the part of the brand.
LEMON: Nina, it is what have you done for me lately. There are a lot of people who are saying, why do we keep giving our votes to the African-Americans? Why do you keep giving our votes to the Democratic Party when nothing seems to have change? My life is no better; unemployment is down, my paycheck is not better? Why do I keep giving my votes to Democrats? Which Democratic candidate will be better for minorities do you think?
TURNER: Don, I hear that all the time and while I am a Democrat, I do critique my own party. And so, we do need to do some more soul searching in terms of what this party have done and will do other than give lip service to the African-American community. Now there is no doubt who I believe and known to be the best candidate for African- Americans and that is Senator Bernie Sanders...
LEMON: Hillary Clinton. I'm just kidding.
TURNER: ... who is not. Senator Bernie Sanders is not talking about incremental progress, he is really charging hard and long into these problems whether it's economics, whether it's five types of violence that are rip upon black and brown folks in this country. That is the kind of champion of champion that we need. But there are lot of soul searching that has to be done in this country and this is bigger than Mr. Trump.
LEMON: Bakari Sellers, you and I talk about this on television and privately. Who do you think is the best candidate and, you know, should African-Americans be reconsidering whether they should, you know, for the most part give their votes to Democrats?
[22:20:11] SELLERS: Well, let me -- I don't necessarily want to contrast Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton at this moment right now but what I do want to do is look at the level of conversation we're having. For the first time in a very long period of time, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are leading the Democratic Party in a conversation about race.
SELLERS: And, yes, both candidates had to be pushed further along, both candidates had to learn the phraseology, the verbiage. Both candidates had to understand the specific pain or they seem to understand the specific pain that many African-Americans were feeling, but that leads me to this weekend.
Because the Democratic Party is taking this quest for social justice, environmental justice, criminal justice directly to Flint, Michigan where many black and brown babies are dying at the hands of their government because they simply don't have access to water.
Now you contrast that to what's going on the Republican side and it's night and day. So, I don't want to use my 30 seconds or 45 seconds to critique Bernie Sanders or critique or give props to Hillary Clinton. But what I want to do want to say is that the Democratic Party is having the conversation.
And until the Republican Party joins us in having that conversation, the language that Donald Trump...
HOLMES: But here's the thing...
SELLERS: How many conversations can you have?
LEMON: Go ahead, Amy.
HOLMES: That the problems that you just enumerated, this is after eight years of a Democrat in the White House. And there is -- and that is the Republican rebuttal and that is what we're discussing on this panel is whether or not that that will be appealing to voters, which is what have you done for me lately?
We've had a Democratic president for the last eight years and we still are these problems in Detroit week have polluted water, we still stagnant wages, we still have high unemployment. Maybe we need to go shopping for someone new.
SELELRS: But to blame Flint, Michigan on Barack Obama is the height of an electoral dishonesty. But that's not what...
HOLMES: We're talking about -- we are talking about eight years of Democrat at the top.
SELLERS: ... but that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that, yes, we had years of Barack Obama. And I dare not run down the litany of accomplishments that Barack Obama has had not just for the African- American community.
HOLMES: I'm glad you called them a litany. I do, too.
SELLERS: But this -- but this -- they are litany. But the country as a whole. But what I will tell you is that while the Congress continues to twiddle their thumbs, while Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan continue to do everything they can to make this president fail, he stood up with shoulders high and done everything he could.
And I will tell you that right now Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton light years away from -- for doing better for African-Americans than anybody, including Mr. Trump, on the Republican side.
LEMON: Already. We have to go, Van. I know you're -- it's like...
JONES: I heard the microphone drop.
LEMON: All right. To be continued. Thank you. I appreciate all you.
HOLMES: Thank you.
LEMON: Up next, former Governor Jesse Ventura he took on the political establishment in Minnesota and he won. We're going to get his take on Trump outsider campaign and the battle by GOP leaders to stop him.
[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: One man who knows what it's like to run against the political establishment and win is former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura. But unlike Donald Trump, he had political experience serving as the Mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota before running for Governor. And he joins me tonight with an exclusive interview.
It's so good to have you here. You know, people keep saying that you're like Donald Trump, but I think you're probably more like Bernie Sanders. And the last time we talked, though, very few people were taking Trump's campaign seriously. Now he's on track to be the GOP's nominee and the party's trying to take down their own frontrunner. What's going on?
JESSE VENTURA, FORMER MINNESOTA GOVERNOR: Well, first of all, I think you're correct that my campaign was more like Bernie Sanders. I only took $25 and $50 donations, I took no PAC money whatsoever, I only raised $300,000. I actually made more money doing the job than what I paid to get it. No one else has done that.
Now let's move forward, Donald Trump an all that. Here's the problem I have. Marco Rubio came to Minnesota and he won Minnesota. But he came into town and he insulted me and he insulted everybody that voted for me. And I got offended over that because this is a man that wants to be the commander-in-chief of our military as do all the Republicans...
LEMON: How did he insult you?
VENTURA: ... and yet -- wait a minute. How did he -- he said I was an embarrassment. He said I'm still an embarrassment.
LEMON: Let's listen. Let's play it. We'll play it. We'll play and then we'll talk about it. I'll let you -- I'll let you talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: Jesse Ventura was an embarrassment. No, no, let me rephrase that. Jesse Ventura is an embarrassment.
But Donald Trump will be an embarrassment to America, will be an embarrassment to anyone who supported him. This can't happen. And if any state knows that, it Minnesota because of the experience you have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Go ahead, Jesse. I'm sorry for cutting you off.
VENTURA: Well, there you have it right there. Now here's a guy who calls me an embarrassment, he calls a Vietnam veteran an embarrassment, a former mayor and governor who got elected by the people of Minnesota embarrassment.
And I did tremendous. I put in light rail, I revamped the whole property tax system, I gave back three years of money rebates, I cut taxes, I did all this stuff and this guy, Rubio and all the Republicans, here's where mainstream media to me has dropped the ball. You're talking about race a great deal. What about war crimes? You
have every candidate wanting to take us to war and they've all agreed they would be OK committing a war crime and they're going to be the commander-in-chief?
I'm a former military. I'm offended over that. And I believe that as a former military person, I wouldn't have gotten an honorable discharge if I would have committed a war crime. And now the candidates...
LEMON: What do you mean by war crime, explain that, please, Governor.
VENTURA: It's called torture. It's called torture. And every one of these candidates has agreed that they would OK torture. That is a war crime. We want a president that openly admits he'd commit a war crime? I took an oath when I went into the Unites States Military, I served six years. I took an oath to defend the Constitution.
Had I committed a war crime, I would not have gotten an honorable discharge and I wouldn't want somebody like the commander-in-chief telling me that I was supposed to commit a war crime.
[22:30:01] The problem is I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, none of these candidates have ever served the military, so maybe they're just playing stupid and they don't know what a war crime is.
LEMON: Is there anyone of the Republican side that you said -- you said no one served in the military, they don't know what a war crime is. Is there anyone on the Republican side that you see fit to lead this nation at this point?
VENTURA: No, because of that fact. Every Republican has stated that they would be OK with torturing people. That is a war crime, ladies and gentlemen. That's something I, as a former military person am not allowed to do, commit a crime at war.
And yet, here potential commanders-in-chief like Rubio, all of them, none of them served in the military, so I assume they don't -- you know what I'd like to see, Don? I'd like to see every Republican candidate instead of a debate, let's water board them. Let's bring them on national TV and water board them.
I've been water boarded. I went to SERE to school, Survival, Resistance, Escape, Evasion, that's what you were required to do to go into the combat zone in Southeast Asia many, many years ago when I served.
VENTURA: Everybody was essentially water boarded there. I'd like to see these Republicans get water boarded and see if they get a different idea on what torture is. But they don't know because they never went in the service in the first place.
LEMON: Governor, let's move on and talk about some of the things you talked about. You mentioned race. And you have known Donald Trump for years, of course he is running.
LEMON: By now you probably heard about this whole thing with Trump over the weekend, struggling to condemn David Duke and the KKK. You notice that he's disavow him before him that. He sort of hedged a little bit. Since you have -- have you ever known Trump to be a racist? Or what do you think of him hedging about the KKK in that group?
VENTURA: I don't think he's a racist. I don't think he's a racist any more than any other white person may, you know, could be called a racist. He's never done anything that I've ever seen that was overtly racist, ever. And you know, when we -- I played with Donald out at the celebrity golf tournament out in Tahoe. There's a mixture of all the races out there, because you've got football, you got, you know, every aspect of life is out there as professional athletes and movie stars, and all that stuff.
There's another thing. Let's get to Rubio. Rubio said Trump and I both come from the entertainment so we're an embarrassment. Excuse me. He says he's a follower of Ronald Reagan? He better do his homework. Where the hell did Ronald Reagan come from? The entertainment industry, didn't he? So, Rubio's a hypocrite.
LEMON: Let's look at -- let's look at the Democratic side, OK?
VENTURA: All right.
LEMON: So, if it's -- if it ends up being Trump versus Hilary Clinton, who wins? Is there anyone on the Democratic side you like? You said no one on the Republican side you think.
VENTURA: I don't know. I wanted Bernie Sanders to lead the revolution, and I just listened to all the blacks on your show, the African-Americans saying where do we go to? Well, how about if Jesse Ventura runs as a libertarian. That gives you a new alternative.
If the Democrats haven't helped you and the Republicans haven't helped you, they've been in charge for 150 years and we're what, 20, 30 trillion in debt now? Obviously, that both of these parties these gangs as I call them, are completely incompetent, and yet, everyone keeps voting for them. There are alternative candidates, people.
LEMON: Are you -- are you putting your -- are you throwing your hat into the ring? Are you going to run?
VENTURA: I'm considering it, that's all. I'm considering it. I'll decide in the next month. I've been invited to the libertarian convention. And I'll decide if I want to go that direction. But there is alternative. Minnesota showed it when I ran. I'm a centrist. I'm fiscally conservative and socially liberal so I don't belong on either end.
And all the people in the middle is who elected me. That's how I won. Skip Humphrey went way to the left, Norm Coleman was way to the right. They couldn't get back to the middle. And it's the middle that controls your election.
LEMON: Former Governor Jesse Ventura, thank you very much. And you heard it here first on CNN, he's considering running for president and you're serious.
VENTURA: I said it earlier.
LEMON: I know, but I had to say that.
VENTURA: I know.
LEMON: But you're considering -- yes , I know.
VENTURA: I'm considering. Absolutely I'm considering.
VENTURA: I want to see the revolution continue.
LEMON: Governor, thank you. Always a pleasure.
VENTURA: Thank you. Don, Bernie's going to kill the revolution. Somebody has got because he's going to endorse Hillary. Somebody's got to carry it on.
LEMON: All right. Thank you, Governor. We'll talk more. I'll have you back on. All right.
Coming up, news on the investigation of Hillary Clinton's e-mails. Will it trip her up in her campaign?
[22:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: (AUDIO GAP) is now cooperating with the FBI and the Justice Department. Clearly the Clinton e-mail saga is not going away any time soon.
Joining me to discuss, Alan Dershowitz, the author of "Taking the Stand: My Life and the Law," and Michael Mukasey, the former Attorney General under President George W. Bush.
Gentlemen, pleasure to have you on. Alan, I'll start with you. So, help us understand where we are, Alan, in this whole e-mail saga. The latest development is a former aide who set up an e-mail server in Clinton's home, Bryan Pagliano, was granted immunity by the FBI and he has given them documents. What do they want from Bryan Pagliano. And does immunity mean laws were broken?
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL PROFESSOR: Oh, no, of course not. It means that his lawyer was very cautious. This immunity happens some time ago. Hillary Clinton has said she is glad he's cooperating. And apparently, he has told them that there was no hacking that went on.
So, I think this is relatively routine. She is neither a target nor a subject of the investigation so she'll probably never get a letter saying she's been cleared because she doesn't have to be cleared about anything.
And although I have enormous respect for my former lawyer and a great judge and great Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, I don't think he's correct when he suggested in a very interesting article in the Wall Street Journal and other places that she will or might very well be subject to criminal prosecution on four types of crimes.
[22:40:03] I think because she didn't know that anything was classified, none of them were marked classified at the time she did these actions, that she could not be lawfully prosecuted for her act.
LEMON: Do you want to respond Mr. Mukasey? Because I was looking you also wrote I think in the American Thinker as well that I was just looking at. Do you want to respond to that?
MICHAEL MUKASEY, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Sure. I think that I can agree -- I can agree with Alan that the mere fact that somebody received immunity doesn't mean necessarily that a crime was committed. On the other hand, it does mean that this man wouldn't provide information unless he was given immunity.
And so, the FBI thought it was worth -- or the Justice Department and people of the highest reaches of the Justice Department thought it was worth immunizing him because that doesn't happen without authorization at the upper echelons of the Justice Department.
So far as what went on with the server, the fact is that there were classified documents on that server, hundreds if not thousands of them, and when Alan says that they weren't marked classified, that's probably accurate.
But the question is how did the classification get off? Because unless you believe that thousands of documents passed over a restricted server that carries only classified information without a marking on them, magically without a marking on them, unless you believe that, then you have to ask yourself how it is that somebody took those documents off that server, either retyped them or summarized them and put them on an unclassified server. That's an interesting issue.
LEMON: Let me ask you this. And about the American Thinker I think there was some place you were quoted, you didn't write that. But listen, other government, Mr. Mukasey, other government officials have used private e-mails, haven't they? And that is...
MUKASEY: Not. No, no, no.
LEMON: ... that illegal? It's a distinction of server?
MUKASEY: Not to that extent. Not to this extent. We're talking about -- you're talking about Secretary Rice... (CROSSTALK)
LEMON: Degrees matter in this?
LEMON: Secretary Rice and Colin Powell had in confidential documents show up on their staffers' e-mails -- e-mail system. They did not set up parallel e-mail systems that were outside the government chain that were not subject to the Freedom of Information Act and that were not subject to any control over whether information that was on them was classified or not.
In addition to which, Paglia -- I don't understand how Alan can say that Pagliano said that his server wasn't hacked. There's no way that he could do know. He's the person who set it up. It then passed into the hands of other people.
DERSHOWITZ: Well, today, The New York Times...
LEMON: So, The New York Times...
DERSHOWITZ: Go ahead.
LEMON: The New York Times said "Security logs in Hillary Clinton's e- mail server are said to show no evidence of hacking and then there is a long right..."
MUKASEY: Are said by who?
LEMON: Are said by government officials. Those close to the government. They said that there no -- they found no information that hackers -- not put American secrets in the hands of hackers or foreign government.
DERSHOWITZ: So let's be clear, there's no evidence that Hillary Clinton knew that anything was classified, there's no evidence that she or anybody else that she knew arrange to have any classification removed, that's all speculation.
There is no evidence that any of it was hacked or got into foreign hands. And so, whatever else up may say, there's just no basis for criminal prosecution.
MUKASEY: There certainly is evidence that she knew. Her books...
DERSHOWITZ: That it was classified?
MUKASEY: Absolutely. Absolutely.
DERSHOWITZ: How come you're the first who has ever said that?
MUKASEY: I'm not the first who ever said that.
DERSHOWITZ: So, the government doesn't believe, if she knew it was classified, it would be an open-and-shut case. (CROSSTALK)
MUKASEY: I don't know what quote...
DERSHOWITZ: because the law is clear. If you knowingly send classified material through a non-secure server, that's a crime.
MUKASEY: You said there's no evidence that she do the information was classified.
DERSHOWITZ: that's right. There was at least marked classified.
DERSHOWITZ: Marked classified. Right. Marked classified. Now what evidence do you have?
MUKASEY: Its markings -- if markings were removed by people who worked for her, then you have to ask yourself how did that happen and why did it happen?
LEMON: Yes. But I have to -- all right, let me jump in here.
MUKASEY: No, there's an e-mail -- there was an e-mail from her to one of her staffers who when she was impatient to get a classified document, she said make it unpaper, make it unpaper and move it on a non-classified -- a non-classified fax machine.
DERSHOWITZ: But there's no evidence that it was classified and there's no evidence that that e-mail was ever sent. It's again speculation. Now, speculation...
MUKASEY: The e-mail -- no, that e-mail...
LEMON: OK. Gentlemen, I need to jump in here. Because we're talking about according to who and this former aide, which is Bryan Pagliano, right?
LEMON: This former aide to Hillary Clinton has turned over to the FBI computer security logs from Mrs. Clinton's private server, records that showed no evidence of foreign hacking, according to people close to a federal investigation into Mrs. Clinton's e-mail. So, that let's get in on that.
MUKASEY: He was not -- he was not on that server from point A to the end.
[22:44:59] LEMON: OK. Alan.
MUKASEY: He installed it. DERSHOWITZ: But, yes.
LEMON: Secretary Clinton said she never knowingly sent or received anything classified. Is she likely to be charged with a crime?
DERSHOWITZ: Absolutely not. There would be no basis, unless you could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she deliberately sent material that she knew was marked classified and I think you'd also have to demonstrate to have any prosecution that there was a real risk that it was hacked and went elsewhere.
I don't think there's any evidence. There's speculation. And look, as a former Attorney General, Michael Mukasey is entitled to speculate and ask for an investigation and that's what's going on now. And I predict that in May, the investigation will be closed, no one will be prosecuted and no one ever again will use a private server, or private e-mail to send anything that is governmental in nature.
I think everybody has learned a lesson from this but you don't retroactively apply new knowledge to old cases. That's why we have an ex post facto law in the Constitution that presents people from being...
LEMON: Quickly, Mr. Mukasey. I'm going to have a break.
DERSHOWITZ: But when they did it...
LEMON: Let him respond, Alan.
MUKASEY: This isn't being done retroactively. The information is marked classified because it's classified. It's not classified because it's marked. And the fact is that there were 22 e-mails that the government has declined to disclose ever because they were not only classified, not only top secret but secured access.
DERSHOWITZ: But not -- but not marked classified. And that's the basis for...
LEMON: She has said -- she has said that it was a mistake and she has apologized even here on our air and also on the town hall...
DERSHOWITZ: But it's very important for everybody to know that you cannot be prosecuted unless you've done something that was illegal at the time you did it, not with the benefit of hindsight.
LEMON: Thank you, gentlemen. I have to get to a break. I've got to get to a break. Thank you. We'll be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: We are counting down to our Democratic debate in Flint, Michigan Sunday night at 8 Eastern, followed by the Michigan primary on Tuesday.
[22:50:01] Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will go head to head in our debate moderated by Anderson Cooper. I'll also be there to ask questions. Both candidates speaking out on the big issue in Flint that poison water crisis that has the city reeling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNIE SANDERS, (D) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That we are poisoning our children in America in 2016 is beyond comprehension. Now, people tell me, they say, Bernie, you know, you want to invest in the infrastructure, you want to invest in roads and bridges and water systems, it is an expensive proposition. And I say, if we can rebuild infrastructure in Iraq and Afghanistan...
... we damn well can rebuild Flint, Michigan.
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Clean water is not optional, my friends. It is not a luxury. I said weeks ago, if what had been happening in Flint had happened in Grosse Pointe or Bloomfield Hills, I think we all know we would have had a solution yesterday!
This is not merely unacceptable or wrong, though it is both. What happened in Flint is immoral.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: CNN's Sara Sidner talked to some families about the tragic human toll in Flint.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOMINIQUE ABSELL, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: First, I want to serve my country...
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dominique Absell is only 18 but his lifelong dream for his future is dead.
ABSELL: That was my dream to go to the army. And now, that I can't...
SIDNER: The city he loves is now a source of anxiety, partly because of the water crisis and what has happened to his body since.
ABSELL: I start by getting headaches and passing out, seizures.
SIDNER: His family says doctors can't pinpoint exactly why he began blacking out, sometimes several times a week. It means medically he can't qualify for the army. He isn't even allowed to drive. His blood test showed very low levels of lead, convincing his mother the contaminants in Flint's water are to blame but there's no medical proof.
You said you don't know if it's the water. What do you think it is?
BEVERLY DAVIS, DOMINIQUE ABSELL'S MOTHER: It has to be the water. He just stopped passing out because I just stopped cooking with the water.
SIDNER: Absell is one of the children who will inherit the City of Flint, a city that is now a shell of its former self realty track estimates 1 in 14 homes has been abandoned. For three consecutive years ending in 2013, Flint has had the most violent crimes per capita and about 40 percent of the residents live beneath the poverty line.
Then came the decision by government officials to save money by switch being the water supply. It ended up creating a major health hazard. The biggest potential harm hitting Flint future generations.
Like 8-year-olds Julian and Nadia, who play like children but speak in extremes about the water.
What's wrong with the water?
NADIA BAYLOR, FLINT KID RESIDENT: It has lead in it and it has poison in it because the pipes are dirty.
SIDNER: Do you know what lead does to people who drink led? At 8, they notice everything like the number of times it had to prep the sheltering in place in case there is a shooter. And the number of boarded up houses in their neighborhood. If it was to them their future won't be in Flint.
And what about you? Why would you leave Flint?
BAYLOR: Because this water is poisonous. And if I drink it, I go to die and I don't want to die. Nobody wants to die.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER: From 8 to 18, many of Flint's children and their families worry the town is dying, and a really soft-hearted young man beside himself because he truly believes he has no future at all.
You know, when you listen to these children, an 8-year-old talking about death, an 18-year-old thinking that his life is over because his dream is dead, and worrying about this community, seeing people leaving, seeing the boarded up houses.
This is the situation in Flint for the children and families who are left who have not yet left this city. They don't want to leave. If you ask their families, they love this city. The problem is they just don't see a future here, Don.
LEMON: Sara, it's just heartbreaking. An entire generation of children sick. What's next for the kids you met and all the others in Flint?
SIDNER: Look, what they're doing now is they're trying to ascertain exactly what damage has been done. And as you know, lead affects children more than it affects adults.
[22:55:00] It can deal with things like ADHD. It can do things to their bodies and have it very difficult for them to learn. So, there's a lot of looking into what exactly this impact will be. It can also get into your DNA and change not only your children but your grandchildren.
So, there's a lot of concern here. And mostly what people are saying is we're still confused about exactly what this has done to our kids who have tested positive for lead. Lead tends to stay in the body, it gets into the bones and sometimes that is OK because in order to get it out, you have to get this extremely, extremely problematic medicine that can bring it out and cause more problems in the body.
Really, Don, it's about the confusion but it's about the frustration with the government officials who knew that Flint River water was not safe and they let it sit there in people's pipes anyway. Don.
LEMON: Yes. I'll see you there, Sara, this weekend. I'll be there with the -- part of the CNN Democratic debate this weekend in Flint, Michigan. And also passing out water with CNN as well.
Thank you, Sara Sidner. I would stay with CNN for our Democratic presidential debate in Flint, Michigan. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders go head to head Sunday night beginning at 8 Eastern. We'll be right back.
LEMON: Make sure you tune in for our Democratic debate on Sunday night here on CNN. That's it for us tonight. I'll see you right back here tomorrow night.
[22:59:59] AC360 post-debate special starts right now.